Week two of contempt trial resumes today
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U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth today reconvenes testimony in the contempt trial of Secretary of Interior Gale Norton and Assistant Secretary Gale Norton.

With four reports and supplemental from court monitor Joseph S. Kieffer III still the major focus of the trial, Tommy Thompson is once again set to take the stand. Last week, the senior trust official confirmed many of the findings contained in the first report, which documents the failure to provide an accounting of funds to 300,000 American Indians.

Thompson also began reviewing with plaintiff attorney Dennis Gingold the second report, which covers the Trust Asset and Accounting Management System (TAAMS). Kieffer's report documented the failure of this $40 million computer software project that is supposed to be the cornerstone of trust reform.

Review of that document will continue today.

First up, though, Lamberth will hear arguments on a preliminary injunction proposed by the plaintiffs. On Saturday evening, they asked the court to force the Department of Interior to make payments to 43,000 American Indians following the collapse of a consent order that was designed to do that.

Lamberth may also address the government's actions to correct numerous network security problems. So far, the Interior has been given permission to reconnect some of its computer systems to the Internet but crucial ones affecting Indian Country are still offline.

Lamberth on Friday gave the government permission to submit further requests to come into compliance with a restraining order that forced the shutdown.

The hearing and trial will begin at 10 a.m. in federal district court in Washington, D.C.

Get the Motion:
Preliminary Injunction to force Interior to issue checks (12/16)

Today on Indianz.Com:
Judge rebuffs Norton challenge (12/17)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior -
Office of the Special Trustee -
Trust Management Improvement Project -
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton -

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